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Betting bosses admit harming problem gamblers

10 September 2019

Betting bosses from four of the UK’s biggest gambling firms have publicly admitted to MPs that they recognise the harm done by the betting industry.

Executives from Bet365, William Hill, Sky Bet and Paddy Power Betfair also admitted that hundreds of thousands of customers show signs of addiction every year.

Gambling executives quizzed by MPs

The bosses were questioned by members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on gambling related harm and in front of families of those who lost their lives in suicides linked to gambling.

Chair of the AAPG, Labour MP Carolyn Harris asked: “Do you agree that the industry has done harm? There are people in this room who have suffered great harm at the hands of this industry. Many have lost loved ones, some have lost their homes and livelihood, all have lost their dignity. Would any of you like to say sorry for the role your companies have done in causing damage to these people?”

Bosses admit gambling-related harm

In response, Dan Taylor, CEO of Paddy Power Betfair said: “I recognise the industry has got things wrong, and has caused harm for individuals, and we must do better.”

The chief executive of Sky Bet, Ian Proctor added: “We need to do better and I recognise that historically, we haven’t done that often.” The CEO of Bet365, John Coates said: “I echo that.”

Ladbrokes Coral boss criticised for no-show

The head of Ladbrokes Coral owner GVC did not attend the event and was labelled a ‘coward’. Last year he said gambling was “not the biggest social issue facing Britain’, despite the fact there are hundreds of thousands of adult problem gamblers. Ladbrokes Coral was fined £5.9m this year because it was failing vulnerable customers.

Last year a new report also showed that problem gamblers are 15 times more likely to commit suicide.

Find out more

For more about CARE’s work on problem gambling, see here.

For the latest gambling news, see here.

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Gambling

While for some, gambling is just harmless fun, for a significant minority it causes genuine devastation. Our vision is to see laws passed that will help protect vulnerable problem gamblers.

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